Advisory Board

Kathleen Brown
Partner
Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP
Biography

Kathleen Brown

Partner
Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP

Kathleen Brown’s practice focuses on business counseling, government and regulatory affairs, particularly as they relate to the healthcare, energy and financial services industries.

Ms. Brown brings to her practice a background that includes 18 years as a senior executive in the banking and financial services industry and 16 years of public sector experience, including a term as California’s state treasurer.

Ms. Brown joined Manatt after more than 12 years at Goldman Sachs, Inc., a global investment banking and securities firm, where she served as chairman of Midwest Investment Banking and, prior to that, as managing director and head of the firm’s Western Region Public Sector and Infrastructure Group. Ms. Brown also held various senior positions with Bank of America, including president of the private bank.

During her tenure with Goldman Sachs, she worked closely with healthcare institutions in California and the Midwest in both an investment banking and strategic advisory capacity, with a particular focus on helping firms navigate the challenges and leverage the opportunities presented by healthcare reform. She also worked with energy clients and participated in over $4.2 billion of water and power bond financings, working extensively with municipal utilities in California, including on projects to meet California’s renewable energy standards.

Ms. Brown’s experience in the government arena includes serving a term as California state treasurer, where she managed a $25 billion bond portfolio, oversaw a $32 billion cash management fund and served as a trustee on the boards of CALPERS and CALSTRS, two of the largest pension funds in the nation. During that time she was co chair of the Council of Institutional Investors. She was the Democratic Party nominee for Governor of California in 1994, the co chair of the Presidential Commission on Capital Budgeting, a commissioner of the Los Angeles Board of Public Works, and a two term member of the Los Angeles Board of Education.

Before beginning her campaign for treasurer, Ms. Brown was an attorney in the New York and Los Angeles offices of a global law firm, where she was a member of the Capital Markets Group specializing in public and corporate finance.
 

EDUCATION

Fordham University Law School, J.D., 1985

Stanford University, B.A., History, 1969
 

MEMBERSHIPS & ACTIVITIES

Director, Forestar Group Inc.

Director, Sempra Energy

Director, National Park Foundation

Founding Director, The California Women’s Foundation

Member, Council on Foreign Relations

Member, The Trusteeship

Board Member, Stanford Center on Longevity

Former Board Member, The California Endowment

Former Board Member, Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles
 

HONORS & AWARDS

Most Valuable State Official, City And State , 1993

“Breaking The Glass Ceiling Award,” Women Executives in State Government, 1994

“Lifetime Achievement Award,” Women in Public Finance, 2009

“Women To Watch In 2011,” Crainʹs Chicago
 

SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS

Moderator, “Financing Resilient Infrastructure,” 2014 VerdeXchange Green Marketmakers Conference & Expo, January 27, 2014.

Moderator, “The Promise of an Interstate, Multi Modal Regional Network—The High Desert Corridor,” 2014 VerdeXchange Green Marketmakers Conference & Expo, January 27, 2014.

Panelist, ʺ Effective Government Responsive Leadership,ʺ  The Milken Institute Summit, November 21, 2013.

Robyn Beavers
CEO
Blueprint Power
Biography

Robyn Beavers

CEO
Blueprint Power

Robyn Beavers started her career as an energy efficiency consultant and then moved on to become the founding member of Google’s Green Business & Operations strategy team. In this role she delivered several green strategic programs including the country's largest corporate solar installation at the time, energy efficiency retrofits for Google's global offices, employee incentive programs, and the creation of a large scale renewable energy investment program. While pursuing her MBA, Robyn served as a Fellow for the Department of Energy. In 2011, she joined Vestas Wind Systems where she created WindMade, a global NGO that issues the first global consumer label for brands and products made with wind energy. She then joined DEKA Research & Engineering to commercialize their various distributed water and power technologies. Her most recent corporate involvement has been as Sn VP for NRG Energy. She holds both a B.S. in Civil Engineering and an MBA from Stanford University.

Jim Kelly
Senior VP (Retired)
Southern California Edison
Biography

Jim Kelly

Senior VP (Retired)
Southern California Edison

Jim Kelly retired from Edison International (EIX) on July 1, 2011, after almost 38 years of service with the Company.

Prior to his retirement, Mr. Kelly was the senior vice president of Transmission & Distribution for Southern California Edison, responsible for the operation and maintenance of an electrical grid comprised of over 12,000 miles of transmission and 100,000 miles of distribution lines spread across a 50,000-square-mile service area.

Mr. Kelly was also president of Edison ESI, a subsidiary company that operates one of the largest electrical and mechanical repair facilities in the U.S..

Kelly was previously the vice president of Engineering & Technical Services, responsible for planning, engineering, and designing SCE’s electrical grid, as well as research and development, safety and training. Mr. Kelly was one of the early pioneers of the Smart Grid, developing a roadmap for a smarter, safer, more reliable and more environmentally responsible electric grid. Among many other awards and honors, Jim was selected as the IEEE’s “Leader in Power” in 2009.

Kelly also previously served as the vice president of Regulatory Compliance and Environmental Affairs, and has in-depth experience with environmental regulation, permitting and licensing.

Since his retirement, Jim has advised or directed a number of firms in the energy space. 

Jim earned a bachelor’s degree from California State University, Long Beach, and a master’s degree from California State Polytechnic University.  He holds teaching credentials in several subjects and has taught at a number of colleges and universities throughout his career.

Jonathan Weisgall
Vice President, Government Relations
Berkshire Hathaway Energy
Biography

Jonathan Weisgall

Vice President, Government Relations
Berkshire Hathaway Energy

Jonathan Weisgall is Vice President for Government Relations for Berkshire Hathaway Energy Company, a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway. Weisgall also serves as Chairman Emeritus of the Board of Directors of the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies and vice president of the Geothermal Energy Association. He is an Adjunct Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center, where he has taught a seminar on energy issues since 1990 and recently received the Charles Fahy Distinguished Adjunct Professor Award as outstanding adjunct professor of the year. Weisgall graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Columbia College and from Stanford Law School and has published articles in Legal Times, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Foreign Policy, SAIS Review, and The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

Carla Peterman
Commissioner
California Public Utilities Commission
Biography

Carla Peterman

Commissioner
California Public Utilities Commission

Carla J. Peterman is the California Public Utilities Commission’s assigned Commissioner for the Renewable Portfolio Standard, alternative transportation, and energy storage proceedings.

Commissioner Peterman’s previous positions include: California Energy Commissioner, researcher at the University of California Energy Institute and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and investment banking associate at Lehman Brothers. 

Bob Foster
Former Chair
California ISO Board of Governors
Biography

Bob Foster

Former Chair
California ISO Board of Governors

Bob Foster has spent more than 40 years in the energy policy arena in California.  He began his career working on energy efficiency for the State Senate and then led the energy efficiency program for the California Energy Commission.  He then joined Southern California Edison working his way up in the company, eventually serving as its President from 2002 to 2006.  After retiring from SCE, he ran for and was elected Mayor of Long Beach, Ca., serving for 8 years from 2006 to 2014.  He also served as Chair of California’s Independent System Operator (CAISO) from 2011 to 2014.  He now operates Prometheus Advisors, providing consulting on energy, water, entitlements, and public policy issues. He serves on the boards of EPCOR in Edmonton Canada, the American Transmission Company in Milwaukee, and Port Solutions in Los Angeles.  Bob is an ardent baseball fan and in 1983 coached a team from Sacramento to the Little League World Series in Williamsport Pa.

Sanjay Ranchod
Vice President, Policy & Electricity Markets and Regulatory Counsel
SolarCity
Biography

Sanjay Ranchod

Vice President, Policy & Electricity Markets and Regulatory Counsel
SolarCity

Sanjay Ranchod is Vice President, Policy & Electricity Markets and Regulatory Counsel at SolarCity, a national leader in clean energy services that provides homeowners, business and government organizations cleaner, more affordable alternatives to their utility bills. Ranchod leads SolarCity’s legislative, regulatory, and advocacy interests in California and other western states. Prior to joining SolarCity, Ranchod represented renewable energy companies and other businesses on regulatory matters as an attorney at the Paul Hastings law firm. He serves on the board of directors of the California Solar Energy Industries Association and The Sierra Club Foundation. He also serves as an Alternate Commissioner on the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission. Ranchod received a BA from Brown University and a JD from Stanford Law School.

Mary Nichols
Chair
California Air Resources Board
Biography

Mary Nichols

Chair
California Air Resources Board

Mary D. Nichols is Chair of the California Air Resources Board, a post she has held since 2007.

Nichols has devoted her entire career in public and nonprofit service to advocating for the environment and public health. In addition to her work at the Air Board, she has served as Assistant Administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Air and Radiation program under President Clinton, Secretary for California's Resources Agency from 1999 to 2003 and Director of the Institute of the Environment at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Her priorities as chairman include moving ahead on the state's landmark climate change program (AB 32), steering the Board through numerous efforts to curb diesel pollution at ports and continuing to pass regulations aimed at providing cleaner air for Southern California and the San Joaquin Valley. She values innovation, partnerships and common-sense approaches to addressing the state's air issues.

David Yale
Managing Executive Officer—Countywide Planning & Development
Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority
Biography

David Yale

Managing Executive Officer—Countywide Planning & Development
Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority
Felicia Marcus
Chair
California State Water Resources Control Board
Biography

Felicia Marcus

Chair
California State Water Resources Control Board

Felicia Marcus was appointed by Governor Jerry Brown to the State Water Resources Control Board (Board) for the State of California in 2012, and designated by the Governor as Chair in April of 2013.  The Board is responsible for both water quality and water rights issues in the state and is currently focusing on issues ranging from setting water quality objectives for the San Francisco Bay and Delta; to general permits for stormwater pollution control; to reviewing irrigated lands permits to control agricultural drainage.  The Board sets statewide policy, settles water rights disagreements, and hears appeals of local regional board water quality decisions. 

Before her appointment to the Water Board, she was the Western Director for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), a national environmental leader in bringing science, law, and policy expertise to solving our world’s pressing environmental and conservation challenges. Prior to joining NRDC, Felicia was the Executive VP/COO of the Trust for Public Land (TPL), a national non-profit devoted to conserving land for people. Before coming to TPL, Felicia served as the Regional Administrator of the U.S. EPA Region IX in the Clinton Administration where she was known for her work in bringing unlikely allies together for environmental progress and for making the agency more responsive to the communities it serves, particularly Indian Tribes, communities of color, local government, and agricultural and business interests. While at USEPA, Felicia worked extensively on the range of environmental issues under EPA’s jurisdiction, most heavily in air quality, Bay-Delta water, tribal, and US-Mexico border issues. Prior to that, Felicia headed Los Angeles’ Department of Public Works at a time when the City went from garnering lawsuits to garnering national awards for environmental excellence. Felicia came to Public Works after extensive experience as a public interest lawyer and community organizer in Los Angeles.

She currently serves or has served in the past on many non-profit boards and Advisory Councils including the Public Policy Institute of California Statewide Leadership Council, Sustainable Conservation, USC-Kesten Institute for Public Finance and Infrastructure Policy, and the Center for Diversity and the Environment. She is also currently an Obama Administration appointee to the Commission on Environmental Cooperation-Joint Public Advisory Council (US, Mexico, Canada) and was a Schwarzenegger Administration appointee to the Delta Stewardship Council prior to being appointed to the Water Board.

Panama Bartholomy
Director
Investor Confidence Project
Biography

Panama Bartholomy

Director
Investor Confidence Project

Forging partnerships among varying disciplines and stakeholders, Panama Bartholomy has managed and facilitated the creation and implementation of some of the largest climate and energy programs in the United States. Panama’s work focuses on finding policy and program solutions for communities facing energy efficiency, renewable energy, land use and climate change challenges. Panama combines frontline experience with state and local government policy and has dealt extensively in the regulatory and utility arenas.  

Currently, Panama is a Director of the Investor Confidence Project where he develops standard methodologies and protocols for energy efficiency project development and documentation. These protocols are designed to reduce transaction costs associated with energy efficiency investment, and develop actuarial data to unlock capital markets.  

Previously, Panama was the Advisor on Energy and Natural Resources to California Assembly Speaker John A. Perez where he oversaw the State of California’s energy and environmental legislation and budget. He earlier served as Deputy Director of the California Energy Commission’s Efficiency and Renewables Division and advisor for Chairmen Douglas and Pfannenstiel, worked for the California Conservation Corps on vocational environmental education, and ran the Sustainable Schools program for the Division of the State Architect. Panama served on the City of Sacramento Planning Commission and the County of Sacramento Environmental Commission, and is a former board member on the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and past president of the Northern California Chapter of the USGBC.

Matt Petersen
CEO
Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator
Biography

Matt Petersen

CEO
Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator
Adel Hagekhalil
Assistant Director
City of Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation
Biography

Adel Hagekhalil

Assistant Director
City of Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation

Adel Hagekhalil, P.E., BCEE is a registered civil engineer with the State of California and a national Board Certified Environmental Engineer.  Adel is currently an Assistant Director with the City of Los Angeles’ Bureau of Sanitation he is responsible for the Bureau’s wastewater collection system management, storm water and watershed protection program, water quality compliance, and facilities and advance planning.  Adel is leading the City’s effort in green infrastructure and multi-benefit projects and embarking on the City 2040 One Water LA Plan.  Adel led the study group on water resiliency for the President's National Infrastructure Advisory Council (NIAC). Adel is currently a Board member and immediate past president with the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA).

Jeff Kightlinger
General Manager
Metropolitan Water District
Biography

Jeff Kightlinger

General Manager
Metropolitan Water District

Jeffrey Kightlinger is general manager and chief executive officer for The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. The Metropolitan Water District is the largest municipal water provider in the nation delivering an average of over 2 billion gallons of water a day to 19 million customers across Southern California.  Metropolitan serves one out of every two Californians in the six counties of Ventura, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and San Diego.

Kightlinger was appointed general manager in February 2006.  Prior to that, he served as the general counsel for the agency.

Dean Wiberg
Manager, Commercial Technology Partnership Office
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Biography

Dean Wiberg

Manager, Commercial Technology Partnership Office
Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Dean Wiberg is the manager of the Commercial Technology Partnerships Office at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) with responsibilities to develop business opportunities with non-NASA entities to solve sponsor requirements using JPL technologies and capabilities leading to transfer and commercialization. Before assuming his current role, Dean was a project lead in JPL’s Microdevices laboratory in which he was named in about 15 patents and new technology disclosures. Before joining JPL, Dean held technical, management and business development positions at the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), IBM, Westinghouse, Northrop Grumman, Sarcos Research/University of Utah and was co-founder of a venture funded, high tech materials company.

Dean is on or has served on the board of directors for a number of companies and organizations including the Foothill Municipal Water District, one of the 26 regional Southern California water districts, the Bernard Schreiver chapter of the Air Force Association (AFA) and the Board of Advisors for CleanTech Los Angeles, the City’s business incubator for early stage cleantech companies. He has also been active in local governance having served as the Chairman of a municipal planning commission and an elected City Councilman.

Dean holds a BS in Chemistry and an MS in Chemical Engineering, and has done additional graduate studies in Materials Science and Business Administration. 

Torbjorn Millang
Owner
Avancee Marketing
Biography

Torbjorn Millang

Owner
Avancee Marketing
Ron Nichols
President
Southern California Edison
Biography

Ron Nichols

President
Southern California Edison

Ronald O. Nichols is president of Southern California Edison (SCE). He is responsible for external affairs, compliance, power production and procurement, and other operations. Nichols has more than 35 years of experience in the electric and water utility industry. He has been a strategic and operational advisor to utilities, state and local government, power suppliers and the financial community on complex energy and utility matters throughout the United States, particularly in the West. Previously, Nichols was senior vice president of Regulatory Affairs and Nuclear for SCE, overseeing regulatory policy and affairs, regulatory operations and environmental affairs. Prior to joining SCE in 2014, Nichols served for three years as General Manager of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP), where he provided leadership for the utility in supplying reliable and competitively priced water and electricity while continuing to maintain and implement environmentally conscious policies and priorities. Previously, Nichols was a managing director at the energy practice of Navigant Consulting, an international consulting organization with over 2,000 employees. From 1980 to 1997, before his position at Navigant, he was a co-founder and Senior Vice President of the energy and water utility consulting firm, Resource Management International, which was headquartered in Sacramento with offices throughout North America and in Europe and Asia. Prior to starting his energy and water utility consulting career in 1980, he held positions with the California Department of Water Resources and the California Energy Commission. Nichols is a graduate of the University of California, Davis with a degree in agricultural economics and business management.

Paul Krekorian
Councilmember, District 2
Los Angeles City Council
Biography

Paul Krekorian

Councilmember, District 2
Los Angeles City Council

Born and raised in the San Fernando Valley, Paul Krekorian has spent more than a decade in public service. Since 2010, he has served on the Los Angeles City Council where his leadership of the Budget and Finance Committee helped guide the city through the Great Recession. Paul also serves on the board of the LA County Metropolitan Transit Authority, Metrolink and the San Fernando Valley Council of Governments.

A former member of the California State Assembly, Paul is the first Armenian-American to be elected in the City of Los Angeles.

Bob Hertzberg
State Senator
California State Senate
Biography

Bob Hertzberg

State Senator
California State Senate

Robert "Bob" Hertzberg

Robert M. Hertzberg, twice unanimously elected Speaker of the California State Assembly, from 2000 – 2002, is now a State Senator, proudly serving nearly 1 million residents in the San Fernando Valley.  Bob serves on, among others: the Senate Committee on Governance and Finance, the Committee on Energy, Utilities and Communications, and the Committee on Natural Resources and Water, and continues to address the big challenges facing California.

Bob has been an active entrepreneur and leader in global policy on renewable energy.  The Guardian (UK) named him as one of the “50 People Who Could Save the Planet” and his former company won the “World Bank Award, for Lighting Africa,” for a project in Rwanda.

Bob has appeared on CBS Evening News, NBC Nightly News, CNN, BBC, Nightline, and has been featured in articles in The Economist, Fortune Small Business, and Financial Times.  In addition, a solar company he was involved with in Los Angeles won the 2005 Wall Street Journal Innovation of the Year Award in the field of energy.

Bob has been to every VerdeExchange Conference & Expo since the beginning, including two in Toronto, Canada.  He’s thrilled to be back for #11!

Christine Kehoe
Executive Director
California Plug In Electric Vehicle Collaborative
Biography

Christine Kehoe

Executive Director
California Plug In Electric Vehicle Collaborative

Elected to the State Senate in 2004 and re-elected in 2008, Kehoe represents the 39th Senate District, which includes much of San Diego, the cities of Del Mar and Lemon Grove, and neighboring communities.

As a Senator, Kehoe has established herself as an environmental leader and dedicated ‘good government’ advocate.  She chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee, and is a member of the Banking & Financial Institutions Committee; Governance & Finance Committee; Natural Resources & Water Committee; Transportation & Housing Committee; and also chairs the Joint Emergency Management Committee.

Prior to being elected to the Senate, Kehoe served two terms as State Assemblymember representing the 76th District from 2000 through 2004. Before that, she served seven years as City Councilmember representing San Diego's Third District.  Previously, Kehoe was a volunteer with the Center for Women's Studies and Services, editor of the San Diego Gayzette newspaper, and served as executive director of the Hillcrest Business Association.

Kehoe is a member of the Sierra Club, the National Organization for Women (NOW), National Women's Political Caucus, Uptown Democratic Club, California Women in Government, the San Diego Democratic Club, and the Women's Transportation Seminar. She is also a member of the Board of Directors of the California Elected Women's Association for Education and Research (CEWAER).

Kehoe lives in San Diego’s North Park neighborhood with her partner Julie Warren.

Peter Beattie
Premier (Former)
Queensland, Australia
Biography

Peter Beattie

Premier (Former)
Queensland, Australia
Richard Katz
Commissioner
Los Angeles City Planning Commission
Biography

Richard Katz

Commissioner
Los Angeles City Planning Commission

Richard Katz was elected to the California State Assembly in 1980, serving continuously for 16 years. As Democratic Leader in 1995, Katz led the Party to majority status by winning 43 seats in the 1996 elections. California’s term limits law prohibited Katz from seeking re-election.

For 10 years, Richard Katz served as Chair of the powerful Assembly Transportation Committee. He created the Congestion Management Plan, requiring cities and counties to measure and mitigate impacts of land use decisions on their streets, highways and transit systems.

Katz was California’s lead negotiator for the landmark Colorado River Agreement between the State of California, the Federal Government, four California Water Agencies, and the six Colorado River Basin States, furthering his expertise as a negotiator on issues of statewide significance.

Katz had already played a pivotal role in renegotiating $30 billion worth of California’s Energy contracts and developing California’s Transportation Blueprint for the 21st Century, which the voters approved as Proposition 111 in 1990.

In June of 2005, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa appointed Katz to serve with him on the Governing Board of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, where Katz served for 8 years. In 2008, the Mayor appointed Katz to the Metrolink Board after the horrendous Chatsworth accident, “to make sure this never happens again.” Katz served on the Metrolink Board for 7 years, focused on safety issues and leading the effort that resulted in Metrolink being the first railroad in the country to implement Positive Train Control (PTC) a state of the art life saving satellite based technology.   

When Mayor Garcetti was elected in 2013, he appointed Richard Katz to the Los Angeles City Planning Commission, where he continues to serve.

Richard Katz is the owner of a successful public policy/government relations firm, Richard Katz Consulting (RKC), Inc. He currently serves as the Chairman of the Valley Economic Alliance and on the Boards of Heal the Bay and the Jordan farmer Foundation.

A native of Los Angeles, Richard Katz lives in Studio City with his eight year-old son Mitchell Robert.

 

Pat Proano
Assistant Deputy Director
Los Angeles County Department of Public Works, Environmental Programs Division
Biography

Pat Proano

Assistant Deputy Director
Los Angeles County Department of Public Works, Environmental Programs Division

Pat Proano, a licensed Professional Civil Engineer in California, has a dynamic background providing leadership and coordination for Public Works projects and services in Los Angeles County.  He has worked in and/or managed nearly all facets of Public Works including environmental, transportation, and land development services, and emergency management. 

Mr. Proano has expertise in strategic planning and performance management.  He spearheaded the development and implementation of the County’s unincorporated areas’ strategic plan and served as the lead County manager for the Florence-Firestone unincorporated area.  Pat has most recently been at the forefront of developing a Sustainable Waste Management Future for Los Angeles County including efforts to integrate conversion technologies into the municipal waste system. He was instrumental in sponsoring legislation to define these technologies and develop incentives for projects in California.

With a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering and a Masters in Public Policy and Administration from California State University in Long Beach, he has also served as an adjunct professor in the Graduate Center of Public Policy and Administration at his alma mater. 

As a fluent English and Spanish speaker, he has represented the County at various media events, has published numerous Op Eds advocating sustainability, and has been asked to speak at conferences and forums. 

 

 

 

 

 

Anthony Ravitz
Real Estate and Workplace Services, Green Team Lead
Google
Biography

Anthony Ravitz

Real Estate and Workplace Services, Green Team Lead
Google
Frederuck O. Terrell
Vice Chairman
Credit Suisse
Biography

Frederuck O. Terrell

Vice Chairman
Credit Suisse
Mike Wallace
Managing Director
BrownFlynn
Biography

Mike Wallace

Managing Director
BrownFlynn

As Managing Director, Mike is responsible for expanding BrownFlynn’s market penetration across North America, developing new and existing strategic partnerships, providing innovative corporate responsibility and sustainability solutions to clients and helping shape the strategic direction of the Firm. Having helped establish and then direct GRI’s North American operations from 2010 to 2014, Mike was instrumental in driving sustainability reporting across the North American economy.

Mike’s 20 years of international experience in the sustainability field provides BrownFlynn clients and business partners with a global view of the sustainability landscape. Having given expert testimony to the European Commission, U.S. Securities Exchange Commission, Environmental Protection Agency and the General Services Administration, and having presented on the topic of sustainability and reporting at many of events, Mike’s expertise in the field is highly regarded and valued by a wide range of colleagues and organizations.

David Fransen
Fellow
Public Policy Forum
Biography

David Fransen

Fellow
Public Policy Forum

David is a Fellow of the Public Policy Forum, former Special Advisor to the President of the National Research Council, former Chair of the Waterloo Innovation Summit, and a member of the board of Quantum-Safe Canada, and the advisory board of the Institute for Quantum Computing. Over his 34 year career, David has served as a senior executive in government, academia, and the diplomatic corps. As a senior official at the Privy Council Office, Health Canada, and Industry Canada, the first Executive Director of the Institute for Quantum Computing, and Canada’s Consul General in Los Angeles, David has provided strategic leadership across a wide range of policy and program sectors.  David led in the creation, and then served as a member, of the founding Board of Governors of the Council of Canadian Academies. He also served as a member of the board of directors of Canadian Commercial Corporation, the Standards Council of Canada, and as the Secretary of the Minister of Industry Canada’s Expert Panel on Commercialization.

Terry O'Day
Vice President
EVgo
Biography

Terry O'Day

Vice President
EVgo

Terry is responsible for product strategy and market development for EVgo. The company is the leading provider of fast charging to electric vehicles of all makes. Terry’s responsibilities include a $100 million investment to build electric vehicle (EV) charging networks throughout California, regulatory and legislative initiatives, marketing, communications, technology demonstration programs and pricing strategy. 

Prior to joining EVgo, Terry was Executive Director of Environment Now foundation, a strategic, entrepreneurial, activist leader in California. The organization founded dozens of activist environmental organizations protecting air, land and water quality in California and Mexico. In 2007, Terry cofounded Move LA and developed LA County’s Measure R, which over 67% of voters approved in 2008 and is contributing over $40 billion to transit investment countywide. 

Terry began his career with Edison International, where he contributed to founding four businesses in energy, security services, and electric vehicle charging. He went on to cofound EV Rental Cars, which was the first rental company in the United States to offer only environmental vehicles, such as hybrid, natural gas, and electric cars to the general public. It served fifteen airports in six states and more than 500,000 customers, with over 700 cars. Terry has served on various start-up boards and in advisory roles for companies in energy, technology, transportation and infrastructure.

He holds an MBA from The UCLA Anderson School of Management and completed the Coro Public Affairs Fellows Program in Los Angeles. He earned a BA with honors in Public Policy at Stanford University, with a thesis addressing public finance and demand management of electricity. 

Terry was first elected as Councilmember for the City of Santa Monica in November 2010. He has served two years as Mayor Pro Tempore and currently serves as a Councilmember. The city serves over 90,000 residents and a daytime population up to 300,000, with 1,700 employees, a $650 million annual budget and an AAA bond rating. Terry led a six-year process to update the City’s General Plan, which became the leading example of environmental land use planning in the state, reducing projected per capita greenhouse gas emissions from land use by 31 percent in 25 years. He has been active with community organizations throughout California and Mexico; including Waterkeeper Alliance, Coro Southern California; The USC Center for Sustainable Cities, Environmental Entrepreneurs and as the Board Chair of the Coalition for Clean Air.

K.Y. Cheng
Director of Strategic Markets
East West Bank
Biography

K.Y. Cheng

Director of Strategic Markets
East West Bank
Zev Yaroslavsky
Supervisor, 3rd District
Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors
Biography

Zev Yaroslavsky

Supervisor, 3rd District
Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors
Varun Sivaram
Philip D. Reed Fellow
Council on Foreign Relations
Biography

Varun Sivaram

Philip D. Reed Fellow
Council on Foreign Relations

Varun Sivaram is the Philip D. Reed fellow for science and technology at the Council on Foreign Relations. He is also an adjunct professor at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, a nonresident fellow at the Columbia University Center for Global Energy Policy, and a member of the advisory boards for the Stanford University Woods Institute for the Environment and Precourt Institute for Energy. Forbes named him one of the 30 under 30 in Law and Policy, Grist selected him as one of the top 50 leaders in sustainability, and Klout ranked him as one of the top 5 global thought leaders on solar energy. He is the author of the book, Taming the Sun: Innovations to Harness Solar Energy and Power the Planet (MIT University Press, March 2018). 

Dr. Sivaram also serves as strategic advisor to the office of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Reforming the Energy Vision, and he was formerly a consultant at McKinsey & Company, where he counseled Fortune 500 companies on adapting to the modern competitive landscape in energy. Prior to this role, he served as senior advisor for energy and water policy to the mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa, and oversaw the city’s Department of Water and Power. 

Dr. Sivaram’s work has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Financial TimesForeign Affairs, the Journal of Applied Physics, the Journal of Physical ChemistryNatureNature EnergyNature Climate ChangeScientific American, and Issues in Science and Technology. He has also given talks around the world, including at the Aspen Ideas Festival and World Economic Forum. A Truman and a Rhodes scholar, he holds degrees from Stanford University in engineering physics and international relations, with honors in international security. Dr. Sivaram holds a PhD in condensed matter physics from St. John’s College, Oxford University, where he developed third-generation solar photovoltaic coatings for building-integrated applications. He lives in Washington, DC.

Cecilia Estolano
Co-Founder
ELP Advisors
Biography

Cecilia Estolano

Co-Founder
ELP Advisors

Cecilia V. Estolano is a foremost expert on contemporary urban planning issues ranging from economic and workforce development to land use, environmental equity and urban revitalization for cities and communities across the country.

During her nearly 30-year career, she has worked directly with public, private, institutional and non-profit clients to plan, finance, design, implement and operate policy-driven programs and projects that promote sustainable solutions tailored for each community.

Cecilia is President of the California Community College Board of Governors, and has served on the California Coastal Commission and many other boards and commissions. She received her A.B. from Harvard-Radcliffe Colleges, M.A. in Urban Planning from UCLA and J.D. from UC Berkeley.

Prior to founding ELP Advisors in 2011, Cecilia served as CEO of CRA/LA; practiced land use and environmental law while Of Counsel at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher; Senior Policy Advisor at the U.S. EPA during the Clinton Administration, and as Environmental Policy Advisor to former L.A. Mayor Tom Bradley.

Mark Ridley-Thomas
Supervisor, 2nd District
Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors
Biography

Mark Ridley-Thomas

Supervisor, 2nd District
Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors

Since he was overwhelmingly elected in 2008 and reelected in 2012 and 2016 to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, Mark Ridley-Thomas has distinguished himself as a strong advocate for more than two million Second District residents. He presently serves as Chairman of the Board of Supervisors, President of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Commission and a member of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

He has promoted the District’s interests on a variety of fronts, including transportation, job creation and retention, and local hiring. In the area of health policy, Supervisor Ridley-Thomas has overseen the construction of the new Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital, as well as a network of cutting-edge health care facilities throughout the District. He has facilitated the use of technology and encouraged an integrated approach to wellness that includes mental health care and a prominent role for school-based clinics. His advocacy has helped secure an equitable share of funding for public-private partnership health clinics in underserved areas.

Prior to his election to the Board of Supervisors, Supervisor Ridley-Thomas served the 26th District in the California State Senate where he chaired the Senate’s Committee on Business, Professions and Economic Development. He served as Chair of the California Legislative Black Caucus in 2008 and led the Caucus in unprecedented levels of cooperation and collaboration with counterparts in the Latino and Asian-Pacific Islander Legislative Caucuses.

Mark Ridley-Thomas was first elected to public office in 1991 and served with distinction on the Los Angeles City Council for nearly a dozen years, departing as Council President pro Tempore. He later served two terms in the California State Assembly, where he chaired the Assembly Democratic Caucus. His legislative work addressed a broad range of issues with implications for economic and workforce development, health care, public safety, education, budget accountability, consumer protection and civic participation.

He is widely regarded as the foremost advocate of neighborhood participation in government decision-making. By virtue of his founding of the Empowerment Congress, arguably the region’s most successful 24-year experiment in neighborhood-based civic engagement, he is considered the founder of the Neighborhood Council movement.

Ridley-Thomas’ political career was preceded by a decade of service as executive director of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Greater Los Angeles, which followed a brief but successful five-year stint as a high school teacher.

The Supervisor is a graduate of Manual Arts High School in Los Angeles and earned a baccalaureate degree in Social Relations with a minor in Government and a master’s degree in Religious Studies with a concentration in Christian ethics from Immaculate Heart College. Supervisor Ridley-Thomas went on to receive his Ph.D. in Social Ethics from the University of Southern California focusing on Social Criticism and Social Change.

He is married to Avis Ridley-Thomas, Co-Founder and Director of the Institute for Non-Violence in Los Angeles. They are the proud parents of Sinclair and Sebastian, both Morehouse Men. Sinclair recently earned an MBA degree at USC’s Marshall School of Business, works in the investment banking industry, and resides with his wife Shaunicie, an attorney, in San Francisco. Sebastian is a member of the California State Assembly representing the 54th District, which includes Southwest Los Angeles, Culver City, Century City and Westwood.

Bill Allen
President and CEO
LAEDC
Biography

Bill Allen

President and CEO
LAEDC

Bill Allen is the Chief Executive Officer of the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation and its subsidiary, the World Trade Center Los Angeles. Mr. Allen is also Co-Chair of the California Stewardship Network, a Vice Chair of the Economic Alliance of the San Fernando Valley and a member of the Board of Directors of the Weingart Foundation, Regional Economic Association Leaders of California Coalition, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, Los Angeles Coalition for the Economy and Jobs, FilmL.A., Unite L.A., and Sister Cities of Los Angeles.

Active in regional economic development for more than twenty years, Mr. Allen was the first CEO of the Economic Alliance of the San Fernando Valley from 1996-2000, and in 2000 was named California’s Civic Entrepreneur of the Year by the California Center for Regional Leadership.

Mr. Allen has served as a trustee of the University of Southern California, chair of the Creative Arts Emmy Awards for the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Chair of Film LA, and cochair of the “Shaping Tomorrow” capital campaign for the Valley Presbyterian Hospital, on whose board he served for fifteen years.

Mr. Allen was previously a television network and studio executive with nearly twenty years experience in entertainment production and management, where he supervised the development and production of hundreds of episodes of network, syndicated and cable television, as well as several highly rated TV movies and specials.

A cum laude graduate of the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California in 1979, Mr. Allen also received his Masters Degree in Business Administration from Pepperdine University in 1983.

Malia Cohen
Supervisor, District 10
San Francisco Board of Supervisors
Biography

Malia Cohen

Supervisor, District 10
San Francisco Board of Supervisors

Supervisor Malia Cohen was elected in November 2010 to represent the residents of San Francisco’s 10th District, including the Bayview Hunters Point, Potrero Hill, Dogpatch, and Visitacion Valley neighborhoods.

Supervisor Cohen serves as Chair of the Transportation Authority Finance Committee, Chair of the Government, Audit and Oversight Committee, member of the Rules Committee. She also serves as Vice Chair of the San Francisco Retirement System (SFRS), member of the Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board and member of First 5 Commission of San Francisco.

Since being elected Supervisor for San Francisco’s tenth district in 2010, Supervisor Malia Cohen has prioritized developing policies and legislation that keeps the residents of San Francisco’s Southeastern neighborhoods working, healthy and safe. Consistent with these principals in her first three years in office Supervisor Cohen sponsored the Pregnancy Information Disclosure and Protection Ordinance prohibiting limited services pregnancy centers from making false or misleading statements about their services. After passage, this measure was challenged in court and upheld in its entirety. Supervisor Cohen championed legislation that increased penalties for illegal dumping and after seeing the financial and public safety impacts of metal theft, successfully passed first-of-its-kind legislation to strengthen permitting regulations and enforcement on our City’s junk dealers. Additionally, Supervisor Cohen co-sponsored legislation establishing parking restrictions for oversized vehicles as a response to widespread constituent complaints about long-term recreational vehicle (RV) parking and resulting safety and health problems.

In this short amount of time in office Supervisor Cohen has sponsored three ordinances regulating types of especially lethal ammunition, high capacity firearm magazines and giving law enforcement additional tools to combat gun violence. These ordinances increase San Francisco’s already tough stance on firearm regulation. Additionally, she has passed legislation that increases neighborhood notification and community participation in land use decisions and sponsored legislation facilitating the expansion of the California College of the Arts and the revitalization of historic buildings at Pier 70. 

Supervisor Cohen came to the Board from Power Forward Consulting, a public affairs, media and policy consulting firm helping businesses and nonprofits create sound public policy. She is a former member of the Corporate Strategy and Communications team for the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco where she worked to supervise and regulate America’s banking institutions.

Supervisor Cohen was born and raised in San Francisco and attended Lowell High School.  She earned a BA in Political Science from Fisk University and a MS in Public Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University.

Dan Sperling
Director ; Board Member
Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis ; California Air Resources Board
Biography

Dan Sperling

Director ; Board Member
Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis ; California Air Resources Board

Daniel Sperling is Professor of Engineering and Environmental Science and Policy and founding Director of the Institute of Transportation Studies at University of California, Davis. He also holds the transportation seat on the California Air Resources Board. He received the 2013 Blue Planet Prize for being “a pioneer in opening up new fields of study to create more efficient, low-carbon, and environmentally beneficial transportation systems”; and 2010 Heinz Award for his “achievements in the research of alternative transportation fuels and his responsibility for the adoption of cleaner transportation policies in California and across the United States.” In the past 4 years, he has been a keynote speaker at 60 universities and conferences, featured on the Jon Stewart Daily Show, NPR’s Science Friday, Talk of the Nation, and Fresh Air, and published op-eds in the New York Times, Washington Post, and LA Times. He is author or editor of 200+ papers and reports and 12 books (including Two Billion Cars), has served on 14 National Academies committees, recently chaired the Future of Mobility committee of the (Davos) World Economic Forum, and is lead author for the IPCC.

Gary Gero
Chief Sustainability Officer
Los Angeles County
Biography

Gary Gero

Chief Sustainability Officer
Los Angeles County

Gary Gero was recently appointed to be the first Chief Sustainability Officer for the County of Los Angeles where his duties include creating a countywide sustainability plan that addresses regional environmental, economic, and social justice issues.

Gary previously served for the past 9 years as the President of the Climate Action Reserve, a nonprofit organization headquartered in Los Angeles and operating across North America. He now serves on its Board of Directors.

Gary’s career includes nearly 20 years of work in local government, primarily in the City of Los Angeles where he served as Assistant General Manager for the Environmental Affairs Department and at LADWP where he oversaw energy efficiency, renewable energy, and distributed generation programs.

Tony Lucente
Director, Business Transformation
Nissan America Latina
Biography

Tony Lucente

Director, Business Transformation
Nissan America Latina

Experienced Senior Consultant with in-depth Business Transformation, Corporate Real Estate, Project and Change Management skills and an exemplary record of achievement.

Retired Senior Corporate Real Estate strategy executive for Nissan Americas based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil with responsibility for Nissan's Business Transformation practice for the Latin America Region including operations in 30+ countries. More than 30 years of international experience including corporate real estate, facilities, transportation & fleet management, corporate security, organization design and business process outsourcing program management. 

Exceptional results-oriented leader with proven strategic and operational abilities. Strong record of success in developing, launching and managing local, regional and global programs. Applies multifaceted tool set, innovative approaches and outstanding multicultural team building talents to enhance enterprise-wide business performance resulting in sustainable growth and profits. Superior verbal and written communications proficiency, vendor management and P&L management skills. Extensive community and civic affairs experience.

Specialties: Corporate Real Estate Strategy, Global Project and Change Management, Communications, Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) and Six Sigma based organization development and Business Process Reengineering.

Allan Emkin
Founder and Managing Director
Pension Consulting Alliance
Biography

Allan Emkin

Founder and Managing Director
Pension Consulting Alliance

Allan Emkin founded Pension Consulting Alliance, Inc. in 1988, with offices in Los Angeles, New York City, and Portland, Oregon.

Long a member of the consulting community, Mr. Emkin has 32 years of general consulting experience emphasizing public plan administration and investment policy, as well as international, global, and real estate investments. 

Mr. Emkin was a Vice President at Wilshire Associates before forming PCA in 1988.  Prior to his work in the consulting field, Mr. Emkin worked in the California Governor’s office in the Pension Investment Unit.  Before joining the Brown administration, he was a registered lobbyist for 10 years specializing in affordable housing and other matters affecting low-income families.

Mr. Emkin is a frequent speaker at various conferences and educational seminars and has long standing relationships with Liberty Hill Foundation in Santa Monica, California as well as The Labor and Worklife Program at Harvard University.

Adi Liberman
Founder and Principal
Liberman and Associates
Biography

Adi Liberman

Founder and Principal
Liberman and Associates
Zhihang Chi
Vice President and General Manager
Air China, North America
Biography

Zhihang Chi

Vice President and General Manager
Air China, North America
Lauren Faber
Chief Sustainability Officer
City of Los Angeles
Biography

Lauren Faber

Chief Sustainability Officer
City of Los Angeles

Lauren Faber is the Chief Sustainability Officer for the City of Los Angeles. In her role as Deputy CSO she drove the implementation of the Sustainable City pLAn, released in April 2015, which puts forth an actionable vision for transforming LA's environment, economy and equity. Working across every city department, Lauren focuses on strategic integration of the pLAn's pillars in order to reach the City's ambitious climate and clean energy goals, ensure benefits accrue to all communities in LA, and pursue regional and international collaborations. Prior to joining the Garcetti Administration, Lauren served for four years as the West Coast Political Director for the Environmental Defense Fund in San Francisco. At EDF she worked on building successful strategies and constructive partnerships to win support on innovative approaches to protecting and promoting climate, clean energy, land, water and wildlife. In 2010 Lauren was appointed to Assistant Secretary for Climate Change Programs at the California Environmental Protection Agency, where she was dedicated to the design and implementation of California’s landmark Global Warming Solutions Act. Prior to her work at CalEPA, Lauren served as senior director for Lighthouse Consulting Group in Washington, D.C., where she advised on comprehensive national climate change and energy strategies for domestic and international companies, and non-government organizations, and in particular, the U.S. Climate Action Partnership. From 2005-2009 Lauren served at the British Embassy as the Senior Policy Advisor for climate change and energy.

Lauren sits on the Board of the California League of Conservation Voters, is a member of the Catto Fellowship for environmental leadership at the Aspen Institute, and a member of the Truman National Security Project Political Partnership. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Earth Systems and Economics from Stanford University, and Master’s degree in Climate and Society from Columbia University.

Gail Goldberg
Executive Director
ULI- Los Angeles
Biography

Gail Goldberg

Executive Director
ULI- Los Angeles

Gail Goldberg, Executive Director of ULI Los Angeles, a District Council of the Urban Land Institute, has been leading the organization since 2011. Prior to ULI Los Angeles, Goldberg was Director of Los Angeles City Planning Department and Planning Director of the City of San Diego.

Jerry Meral
Former Deputy Secretary
California Natural Resources Agency
Biography

Jerry Meral

Former Deputy Secretary
California Natural Resources Agency

Dr. Gerald (Jerry) Meral is the director of the California Water Program at the Natural Heritage Institute.  He works on funding for California water, Delta infrastructure, and a variety of other California water programs.  He formerly served as Deputy Director of the California Department of Water Resources, Deputy Secretary of the California Natural Resources Agency, Executive Director of the Planning and Conservation Director, and Staff Scientist at the Environmental Defense Fund.  He has placed 9 initiatives on the California statewide ballot, and has been involved in many statewide ballot measures affecting California water, parks, wildlife, health, and transportation.  He has a Ph.D. in zoology from the University of California, Berkeley.  He serves as the campaign director of the Water Supply and Water Quality Initiative Bond Act of November 2018 campaign.

Tom Soto
Managing Director and an Investment Committee Member
TCW/Craton
Biography

Tom Soto

Managing Director and an Investment Committee Member
TCW/Craton

Tom Soto is a Managing Director and an Investment Committee Member at TCW|Craton. Tom has been a member of the board of many of Craton’s portfolio companies such as Liquid Environmental Solutions and Propel Alternative Fuels.

Tom is one of the country's leading voices on the economics of climate change and the prosperity tied to reducing greenhouse gases. He has been an active contributor to much of the state and federal legislation regarding climate change, Cap and Trade, and greenhouse gas emission reduction.

As a business leader, Tom's companies have included Cabrillo Fuels, where it was the largest minority producer of ethanol fuel in Southern California. During this period and prior to Craton Equity Partners and then TCW|Craton, Tom built his management consulting company, PS Enterprises, into the country's leading consulting firm working with government and fortune 500 companies such as American Airlines, Verizon, and the White House in insuring their compliance with new and stricter environmental regulations.

Tom was an appointee of President Bill Clinton to the State Department's Border Environmental Cooperation Commission, and was President elect Barack Obama's Co-lead of the Executive Office of the President's Transition Team for The White House Council on Environmental Quality from November of '08 to January of '09.

Tom was recently recognized by Poder 360 Magazine as one of the Nation’s Top 100 Latino Green Leaders and was one of Hispanic Business Magazine’s 100 Most Influential Latinos of 2010.

During his limited spare time, Tom is the long time Board Secretary of the Mono Lake Committee and the former Chair and current Vice Chair of the California Science Center Board of Trustees. He is a leading voice in the emerging manager sector promoting diverse fund managers in finance as Chairman of the board of the New America Alliance.

Tom received a BA in Political Science from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA.)

Jeremy Davies, OBE
Senior Advisor
VerdeXchange
Biography

Jeremy Davies, OBE

Senior Advisor
VerdeXchange

Formerly a Managing Partner in the Assurance and Business Advisory Services of PwC, Jeremy Davies has more than 30 years of experience of serving American, Japanese, European and Brazilian global and middle market and emerging companies across a wide range of industries, including power generation and alternative energy. Jeremy was Co-Chairman of the U.S. firm's Japan Business Network (JBN) Steering Committee and led the automotive sector practice in the West Region of the United States.

Jeremy is former National Chairman and President of the British American Business Council, the largest transatlantic business association; former Executive Committee member of the European Union Center of California; is a member of the Board of Governors of the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation, its World Trade Committee (serves on its sub-Committee on Foreign Direct Investment), its Green Economy and e-Mobility Task Forces. He is Senior Advisor to the VerdeXchange Institute, an organization dedicated to supporting Los Angeles County as a global marketplace for renewable and clean energy technologies and as a portal of entry into the US market.

Mr Davies is a member (retired) of the California Society of Certified Public Accountants, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, is qualified as a Brazilian Certified Public Accountant and has a BSc degree from the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil. He is a member of the Board of Directors of CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates for foster children in Los Angeles County) and Chairs its Corporate Outreach Initiative.

In 2014 he was appointed by Her Majesty The Queen an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to British business interests in the USA. 

Jun Niimi
Former Consul General
Japanese Consulate, Los Angeles
Biography

Jun Niimi

Former Consul General
Japanese Consulate, Los Angeles

Consul General Niimi joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1979 after graduating from Tokyo University’s Faculty of Law.  His previous international assignments were in England, Kenya, France, Iran, Russia, and Thailand. At Ministry of Foreign Affairs headquarters in Tokyo, he has served as Director of the Overseas Public Relations Division, Director of the Consular Policy Division, Director of the Overseas Establishments Division, and as Assistant Vice-Minister.  The post of Consul General at Los Angeles is his first assignment in the United States.

Jack Baylis
President and CEO
The Baylis Group
Biography

Jack Baylis

President and CEO
The Baylis Group
David Jacot
Director of Efficiency Solutions
LADWP
Biography

David Jacot

Director of Efficiency Solutions
LADWP

David Jacot, P.E., is the Director of Efficiency Solutions for the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power (LADWP). LADWP operates the largest public power portfolio of energy efficiency programs in the nation, comprised of a broad array of energy resource acquisition and market transformation programs serving LADWP’s customers and trade ally networks.  In this role, David oversees all aspects of LADWP’s offerings and strategies designed to overcome market barriers to the comprehensive adoption of energy efficiency by LADWP’s customers. David also oversees the implementation of LADWP’s class-leading water conservation and efficiency programs, as well as the customer-facing integration of water and energy efficiency program delivery both within LADWP and also through a nation-leading joint program partnership with the natural gas utility serving Los Angeles, the Southern California Gas Company.

David has a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Oklahoma, and a Master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from California State Polytechnic University - Pomona, as well as 15 years of experience designing high performance building systems, modeling building energy usage, and managing cost-effective and investment-grade energy efficiency programs.

Mike Rosenfeld
Senior Director Clean Technology
UK Trade & Investment, British Consulate-General
Biography

Mike Rosenfeld

Senior Director Clean Technology
UK Trade & Investment, British Consulate-General
George Minter
Regional Vice President for External Affairs and Environmental Strategy
Southern California Gas Company
Biography

George Minter

Regional Vice President for External Affairs and Environmental Strategy
Southern California Gas Company

George Minter is regional vice president of external affairs and environmental strategy for SoCalGas. He is responsible for the company’s public affairs, community relations, public policy and energy and environmental affairs functions. 

Minter is a long-time policy professional specializing in energy and environmental matters, strategic planning, program development, communications and political advocacy. 

Before re-joining SoCalGas as senior director of policy and environment, Minter was managing principal for L.A.-based public affairs firms Greer/Dailey/Minter and GM Public Affairs from 2000 to 2013. There he managed public policy initiatives and communications programs to approve large energy and land use projects. 

Minter also served in the capacity as director and manager of a number of other functions for SoCalGas from 1985–2000. Prior to his career at SoCalGas, Minter was a political consultant handling local, state and national political campaigns, responsible for strategy development, campaign management, direct mail and television and radio production. 

Minter has served as a board member of numerous civic associations and community organizations, including the Central City Assoc., Valley Industry and Commerce Assoc., L.A. Family Housing Corp. (as board chair), Coro Foundation, Pat Brown Institute of Public Affairs at Cal-State L.A., Center for the Study of L.A. at Loyola Marymount University, Campaign to Clear the Air and the California League of Conservation Voters Foundation. He was one of the founders of the Business Council for Sustainable Energy, a federal energy trade association, and the California CCS Coalition, a statewide energy advocacy organization. 

He currently serves as co-chair of the Energy, Water and Environmental Sustainability Council of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, is a Board member at the Coalition for Clean Air, the California Natural Gas Vehicle Coalition and CCEEB, serves on the Advisory Boards of the Clean Tech Initiative of the LAEDC and Water Education for Latino Leaders (WELL). 

Minter has been the recipient of several awards and honors and has been a regular speaker at state and national conferences on energy and environmental policy. He recently was awarded the Presidential Volunteer Service Award from the U.S. Council on Service and Civic Participation. 

He is a Phi Beta Kappa and honors graduate of the University of California at Berkeley.

Joe Edmiston
Executive Director
Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy
Biography

Joe Edmiston

Executive Director
Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy

Joseph Edmiston was appointed Executive Director of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy by Governor Jerry Brown in 1979. Under his leadership, the Conservancy has preserved over 60,000 acres of public parkland within and surrounding the Los Angeles Metropolitan region, in a zone extending from the edge of the Mojave Desert to the Pacific Ocean. From north to south, these areas drain into the Santa Clara River, Calleguas Creek, numerous smaller coastal watersheds in the Santa Monica Mountains, and the Los Angeles River and Rio Hondo. Joe has lectured extensively on environmental planning, park development, and urban land use. He and the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, have been the recipient of numerous national awards including, most recently, the highest honor of the National Planning Association, the Daniel Burnham Award.

Dennis Luna
Managing Partner
Luna & Glushon
Biography

Dennis Luna

Managing Partner
Luna & Glushon

Dennis is the managing partner of Luna & Glushon, a firm headquartered in Century City.

Dennis is a graduate of Harvard Law School, and holds a Master of Science in Petroleum Engineering from the University of Southern California, School of Petroleum Engineering.

He has served on many commissions in the City of Los Angeles, including Commissioner and Treasurer for the Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Agency, and as a Commissioner of the Los Angeles Recreation and Parks Department.

He is also a former Director and Member of the Executive Committee of the Economic Development Corporation of Los Angeles County.

Dennis is a frequent speaker on matters related to energy, water resources, and the economy.

Martha Welborne
Former Chief Planning Officer
Los Angeles Metro
Biography

Martha Welborne

Former Chief Planning Officer
Los Angeles Metro

Martha Lampkin Welborne was recently the Chief Planning Officer at the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro), departing in January 2016. In this role, she led a staff of over 200 in planning the long-range future of transportation in the County, and in initiating the design and delivery of twelve new transit corridors approved by County voters in 2008. She also oversaw Metro’s real estate department, regional capital development activities, the management of all grants, and a variety of strategic initiatives such as the Master Plan of the historic Union Station property.

Previous to her role at Metro, Ms. Welborne was the Managing Director of the Grand Avenue Committee, a public/private partnership focused on revitalizing the civic and cultural districts of downtown Los Angeles. Previous to her work at the Grand Avenue Committee, Ms. Welborne’s nearly 20-year career as an architect and urban designer included leadership positions with Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP, and Sasaki Associates, Inc. Her work at those companies ranged from individual building design through large-scale master plans of university campuses, downtown development plans, and transit corridors. Ms. Welborne was also the initiator of the rapid bus concept for Los Angeles County, which became the currently operating Metro Rapid system.

Ms. Welborne graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a Bachelor of Architecture, and from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with both a Master of Architecture and a Master in City Planning. She was also a Loeb Fellow at Harvard University's Graduate School of Design. She is a member of the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects and she has also served as President of the Los Angeles Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. She also serves on the Board of Councilors of KUSC, Southern California’s premier classical radio station, and has previously served on the Board of Councilors of the School of Architecture at USC.

Catherine Reheis-Boyd
President
Western States Petroleum Association
Biography

Catherine Reheis-Boyd

President
Western States Petroleum Association

Catherine Reheis-Boyd has served as the President of the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) since January 1, 2010. She oversees the trade organization’s operations and advocacy in five Western states – California, Arizona, Nevada, Washington, and Oregon. Over her 27 year career at WSPA, Ms. Reheis-Boyd has held a variety of leadership roles, including a 2003 appointment as Chief of Staff and subsequent promotions to Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. Prior to joining WSPA, Ms. Reheis-Boyd was with Getty Oil and Texaco working on environmental compliance at the Kern River Field in Bakersfield, California.

She currently manages a broad range of Association activities, including legislative and regulatory issues associated with transportation fuels policy, air and water quality, climate change, renewable fuels and alternative energy issues, crude oil and natural gas production and many other issues in WSPA’s five states, and beyond those borders into Canada and abroad.

In 2004, Ms. Reheis-Boyd was appointed by the California Resource Secretary to the California Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Blue Ribbon Task Force to an eight-year term. The MLPA is charged with protecting ocean resources off the California coastline from Oregon to Mexico. In addition, Ms. Reheis-Boyd was appointed to the National Marine Protected Areas Center’s Federal Advisory Committee which recommends strategies to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the United States Department of Interior on how to strengthen and protect the nation’s systems of Marine Protected Areas. Ms. Reheis-Boyd is a member of, or advisor to, a number of climate change policy panels and regulatory agencies in all five WSPA states.

In 2016, Ms. Reheis-Boyd was named Distinguished Woman and Petroleum Advocate of the Year by the California Latino Leadership Institute.

Ms. Reheis-Boyd received her Bachelors of Science degree in Natural Resource Management from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo and pursued postgraduate studies in environmental engineering at the University of Southern California.

The Western States Petroleum Association represents major integrated petroleum companies, independent refiners and oil and natural gas producers that explore for, produce, transport, refine and market petroleum, petroleum products, and natural gas as well as advanced alternative and renewable transportation fuels in the West. On behalf of the industry, WSPA works to encourage public policies that promote socially and environmentally responsible economic growth and prosperity.

Susan Kennedy
‎Founder & CEO
Advanced Microgrid Solutions
Biography

Susan Kennedy

‎Founder & CEO
Advanced Microgrid Solutions

Before starting a groundbreaking energy storage company, Susan served for two decades at the highest levels of state and federal government, most recently as chief of staff to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, cabinet secretary and deputy chief of staff to Governor Gray Davis and communications director for U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein. She served from 2003-2006 on California’s Public Utilities Commission, regulating the state’s investor-owned electric utilities, telecommunications providers and private water companies. 

In her numerous government roles, Susan was at the center of many of California’s groundbreaking environmental policies, including the carbon reduction mandate and cap-and- trade program under AB 32, the Low-Carbon Fuel Standard, auto emission standards and Renewable Portfolio Standard. She coordinated the State’s emergency demand response efforts during the energy crisis of 2000-2001 and as a member of the PUC she authored what was then the largest energy efficiency program in utility history.

Susan’s company, Advanced Microgrid Solutions, is on the leading edge of a complete transformation of the electric grid.  Using advanced energy storage systems, AMS is creating the first fleet of Hybrid Electric BuildingsÒ in the world, turning portfolios of commercial and industrial buildings into virtual power plants for Southern California Edison.  In 2014 her company won the first major contract in the world to use these advanced energy storage technologies on a large scale to replace capacity from the retired facility at San Onofre nuclear facility.  AMS is consistently listed as one of the top clean tech companies to watch in the US.

She holds a B.A. in Management from Saint Mary’s College of California.

Mike Levin
Director of Government Affairs
FuelCell Energy
Biography

Mike Levin

Director of Government Affairs
FuelCell Energy

Mike Levin is the Director of Government Affairs for FuelCell Energy, Inc. (Nasdaq: FCEL), a leading integrated fuel cell company that designs, manufactures, sells, installs, operates and services ultra-clean, highly efficient stationary fuel cell power plants for distributed power generation.

Mike is a passionate believer in clean technology and has over a decade of experience in government affairs and business development in the industry.  Mike sits on the board of the Center for Sustainable Energy, and is also a co-founder and board member of CleanTech OC, Orange County’s clean technology trade association, where he served as the initial executive director.

 Previously, he was part of the management team at a venture-funded clean tech startup.  Prior to industry, Mike worked as an attorney at Bryan Cave LLP, where he assisted clients with environmental and energy regulatory compliance, project development, and government advocacy.

Mike has a BA in Political Science from Stanford University and a JD from Duke University School of Law.  While at Stanford, Mike served as student body president.  He is also a graduate of the CORO Fellows Program in Public Affairs.

 

Evan Birenbaum
Co-Founder and COO
Chai Energy
Biography

Evan Birenbaum

Co-Founder and COO
Chai Energy

As COO for Chai Inc., Evan Birenbaum is responsible for all things related to business strategy and development, energy-market dynamics, customer engagement, disruptive technologies, and day-to-day business operations. Chai is building products that give consumers a simple and mobile way to understand and reduce their energy use by up to 20 percent. Leveraging these consumer products, Chai will provide multiple services for utility companies, including customer engagement, behavioral energy efficiency, and interactive demand response.

Prior to joining Chai, Evan was the program manager for Environmental Strategy and Sustainability at Southern California Edison (SCE), where he was responsible for the development, strategy, and implementation of SCE’s corporate responsibility and sustainability program. He worked with company executives, business managers, regulators, NGO’s, and internal and external stakeholders to identify and prioritize emerging issues in order to address challenges related to climate change, water impact, habitat protection and biodiversity, and energy and water availability. He has been partly responsible for Edison’s charitable contributions in the area of environmental giving. Evan also works with the Los Angeles Clean Tech Incubator to develop sustainable jobs in Southern California.

Donald Paul
Executive Director
USC Energy Institue
Biography

Donald Paul

Executive Director
USC Energy Institue

Donald Paul is the Executive Director of the USC Energy Institute, Professor of Engineering, and holds the William M. Keck Chair of Energy Resources.

The USC Energy Institute supports university-wide research, education, and workforce development initiatives with industry and governments in the areas of advanced energy systems and infrastructures.

Dr. Paul had a distinguished 33-year career with the Chevron Corporation, retiring in June 2008 as Vice President and Chief Technology Officer.  During his career, he advanced through positions of increasing responsibility in research and development, exploration and production operations, and executive management, including appointment as the president of Chevron’s Canadian subsidiary.

Dr. Paul serves as a Senior Advisor at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington D.C. and in 2014, was re-appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Energy to the National Petroleum Council. He participates in advisory roles at several universities (including MIT, Harvard, Texas and Stanford), governments, national laboratories, oil and gas companies, utilities, and technology companies. He is frequently recruited to speak at national and international forums on the future of energy, the security of energy systems, intelligent energy infrastructures, and energy careers.

 He holds B.S., M.S., and PhD degrees from MIT and an honorary doctorate from the Colorado School of Mines. 

 

 

Mark Sadovnick
Managing Director
Stanton Chase International
Biography

Mark Sadovnick

Managing Director
Stanton Chase International

Having built a reputation over 30 years for looking beyond the mechanics of executive search, Mark has a proven commitment and ability to make a difference with Management, the individual candidates and their families, ensuring the mutual “right fit”.  Recognized by Business Week as one of 150 most influential search consultants in the world, Mark gained business and international awareness from his experiences with Deloitte in Canada and Jaycees International.

 

Mark has worked with many large and middle-market companies, as well as start-ups, advising what it takes to be recognized as a preferred employer and how innovative recruitment of exceptional management candidates will impact their financial results as well as the organization’s reputation and image. His background in finance has given him the advantage of being able to attract the right fit CFO’s and other quality financial management to join and benefit his clients.                                                          

 

Mark proactively introduces and recommends clients and strategic partners to each other, for mutual benefit of all resources. With extensive cross-industry, international experience and relationships, he recognizes the value of understanding and respecting cultures, languages, and the impact on people and business. “It’s all about people, inclusion and trust, to create a winning team.”

 

Mark sits on the Boards of Million Peacemakers (“Nonflict”), World Language Communications, the Hidden Tears Project and VerdeXchange Institute. He has been involved in many Sports & Entertainment projects, including SportsFund, and owning professional cycling and roller hockey teams. Mark is a Chartered Accountant, graduating from McGill University in Montreal. 

Jessica Fox
Program Manager
Electric Power Research Institute
Biography

Jessica Fox

Program Manager
Electric Power Research Institute

Jessica Fox is a Program Manager at the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), where she leads efforts on water quality trading, ecosystem services, sustainability and related work. Ms. Fox is a thought leader on environmental credit stacking, water quality trading, and species conservation banking. Ms. Fox created and manages the EPRI Ohio River Basin Water Quality Trading Project, which is the world’s first interstate trading program for nutrients. Under Ms. Fox’s leadership, the project has addressed critical social, scientific, and economic issues and become a model project in the United States (http://wqt.epri.com). Her projects on ecosystem services focus on creating a business case for considering ecosystem services in day-to-day corporate decision making, including using models, cost-benefit considerations, and executive perspectives. Ms. Fox also leads EPRI’s Energy Sustainability Interest Group, a collaborative forum for electric power company sustainability managers to strategically advance critical issues related to the sustainable generation and distribution of electricity; this effort includes over 40 electric utilities and is the largest collective group in the industry addressing sustainability. 

Ms. Fox has hosted and facilitated numerous workshops and has authored or coauthored over 40 reports and other publications. She is a trained meeting facilitator and conflict resolution mediator, a Certified Ecologist by the United States Ecological Society of America, and a Certified Habitat Steward by the National Wildlife Federation. She also interacts with a wide variety of energy and environmental stakeholders, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and environmental groups, among many others. 

Ms. Fox’s scientific background in conservation genetics, sustainable development, sustainable agriculture, human genome mapping and sequencing, and molecular biology laboratory techniques provide strong scientific foundations for understanding complex environmental challenges and innovative methods for addressing them. Scientific credibility combined with proven success at teambuilding, conflict resolution, and fundraising allows Ms. Fox to execute complex, multifaceted projects. 

Kelli Bernard
Chief Executive, Los Angeles Metro Area
AECOM
Biography

Kelli Bernard

Chief Executive, Los Angeles Metro Area
AECOM

Kelli Bernard is chief executive for the Los Angeles Metro+ region of AECOM, a premier, fully integrated global infrastructure firm headquartered in Los Angeles. 

With more than 2,000 employees in the Los Angeles and Southern California area, Kelli is responsible for building on AECOM’s strategies to deliver its integrated services to meet the infrastructure and business needs of public and private sector clients. Her extensive background in economic development and deep relationships in the Southern California region are valuable assets as AECOM looks to enhance its market presence. AECOM is the largest company headquartered in Los Angeles.

Kelli has more than 20 years of experience in economic development, land use planning, housing, redevelopment and public affairs. She also has in-depth knowledge of public/private partnerships, public finance and infrastructure investment.

Prior to joining AECOM, Kelli served as the deputy mayor of economic development for Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. In this role as the city’s top economic advisor, Kelli championed business growth, economic development and job creation in Los Angeles.  She managed eight city departments including the Los Angeles World Airports and the Port of Los Angeles, with combined budgets of more than $6 billion and more than 7,000 employees.

Kelli was also responsible for the development and implementation of the city’s International Trade policy, and was instrumental in the overseeing Garcetti’s Asia Trade Mission, where she led a delegation of business leaders to China, South Korea and Japan. She gave the keynote address at the 2015 Kaohsiung International Harbor Cities Conference which explored strategies for transforming industrial port cities through urban innovation, infrastructure investment, and land use redevelopment.

Prior to her position as deputy mayor, she was director of economic development at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, the largest municipality in the United States, where she led the department’s Clean Technology Initiative that culminated in the development of the $40M La Kretz Innovation Campus.

Earlier in her career, Kelli worked as director of planning and economic development for Mayor Garcetti when he served as president of the Los Angeles City Council. In this role, she oversaw key development activities, including the $110 million Emerson College and the $390 million mixed-used Columbia Square projects.

Kelli is a commissioner for the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA), an organization created in 1993 to address the challenges of homelessness in Los Angeles. She also serves on the boards for the Greater Los Angeles African American Chamber of Commerce and Town Hall Los Angeles.

Kelli holds a master’s degree in Urban Planning from University of California, Los Angeles, and a BA in Sociology from University of California, Berkeley.

John Emerson
Vice Chairman
Capital Group International
Biography

John Emerson

Vice Chairman
Capital Group International

John Emerson is a global relationship manager and vice chairman of Capital Group International, Inc. He has 16 years of industry experience, all with Capital Group. He was most recently the United States ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany. In 2015, John was awarded the State Department's Susan M. Cobb Award for Exemplary Diplomatic Service, which is given annually to one non-career ambassador. Prior to accepting the ambassador posting, John was president of Private Client Services for the Capital Group Companies. Before joining Capital, he was deputy assistant to President Clinton where he coordinated his economic conferences, served as the president’s liaison to the nation’s governors, and led the administration’s efforts to obtain congressional approval of the GATT Uruguay Round Agreement and the extension of China’s MFN trading status. Before that, John served as Los Angeles Chief Deputy City Attorney, and was a partner in the law firm of Manatt, Phelps, Rothenberg, and Phillips. Additionally, he was appointed by President Obama to serve on his Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations. He holds an honorary doctor of laws degree from Hamilton College, a juris doctorate degree from the University of Chicago and a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Hamilton College. John is based in Los Angeles.